Faculty & Adjunct Faculty

Faculty for Spring 2015

MIGUEL ABUGATTAS is a native of Peru who begun working with ceramics when he returned to San Antonio.  Taking classes at the Southwest School of Art and Craft, he earned a certificate in ceramics in 2007.  Miguel’s work has been exhibited in numerous shows throughout the country, is included in public and private collections, and is included in 500 Cups by Lark Books.

MELINDA ADAMS is an Associate Professor in fashion management at the University of the Incarnate Word, with her graduate degrees from the University of Wyoming and her undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska. Her surface design and textile art pieces have been included at national and international shows such as AQS, ITAA and Hoffman Challenge.

LORENA ANGULO is a Mexican artist who works in metal, including metal clay, and mixed media.  Her passion for her culture and its traditions plays a big role in her designs. Her work has been included in Metal Clay Beads, Exceptional Work in Metal Clay 2008 and 2009, Fusion Magazine (Journal of the International PMC Guild) and featured on the Metal Clay Guru site.

JESSE AMADO holds a MFA and a BFA from the University of Texas at San Antonio; he also holds a BA degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin. A native of San Antonio, he currently resides in both San Antonio and New York. Amado’s  work is included in various public and private collections throughout Texas, the United States and abroad including The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Dallas Museum of Art; Blanton Museum of Art, Austin; San Antonio Museum of Art and the Smithsonian Museum of American Art. 

KAREN BAKER received an MFA from Southern Methodist University with an emphasis in printmaking, drawing and painting and a BFA from Wayne State University. She is currently Registrar of Loans and Exhibitions at the San Antonio Museum of Art.

SYLVIA BENITEZ is a nationally known installation artist whose work has begun to explore landscape painting within the context of a site-specific agenda. She is the recipient of two Pollock-Krasner awards, an AICA award, and two National Endowment for the Arts Visiting Artist Awards. Benitez has led over 60 community-based mural workshops along the eastern seaboard.

MICHELLE BELTO holds an MA in Fine Arts and Consciousness from John F. Kennedy University and a BA in Education with certifications in Art and Theater. Her work as a performer, educator and visual artist spans more than thirty years, three continents and thirteen publications. She divides her time between her two passions — teaching encaustics and studio art, with an emphasis on hand-made paper and wax.

SABRA BOOTH holds an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and a BFA from the University of Houston. She is a nationally and internationally exhibiting artist with recent shows in New York and Germany. Booth also was a Fulbright Scholar to Finland and has been awarded grants by Artpace and by the Brooklyn Arts Council.

JUSTIN BOYD, SCULPTURE & INTEGRATED MEDIA DEPARTMENT CHAIR finished his MFA in Integrated Media at The California Institute of the Arts  and graduated from the University of Texas in San Antonio with a BFA in Ceramics. Since returning to Texas in 2006, Boyd has shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions, recently including the Visual Art Center, Austin; Art Palace, Houston; UTSA Satellite Space and Blue Star Contemporary Art Center. In addition, Boyd hosts a radio show each week on KRTU.

BRAD BRAUNE received his BA in Architecture from Texas Tech University.  He taught watercolor from 1975-77 as part of the original faculty of the Southwest School of Art. He also teaches watercolor at other local arts institutions and shows locally and nationally.

JOSEPH BRAVO earned a MA in art history and a BA in humanities at the University of Texas at San Antonio.  After several years as an art history instructor at the University of the Incarnate Word, served as the Executive Director of the International Museum of Art and Science.  Bravo served as Associate Curator of Western Antiquities at the San Antonio Museum Art and was also the host and writer for Defining Art, KMBH (PBS Affiliate). He is currently the principle at Bravo Fine Art where he offers fine art curating and consulting services.

LIZA COLLINS, born in London, trained as a painter at Northeast London Polytechnic, and later in tapestry at the Royal College of Art. Her tapestries are in many public collections, including the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Contemporary Art Society of London. 

MIGUEL CORTINAS received an MFA from The University of Texas at San Antonio and a BFA from Texas A&M University–Kingsville.  He is an Associate Professor of Art at the University of the Incarnate Word where he teaches drawing, painting, and printmaking.  Miguel’s work is in numerous collections throughout the U.S., including The University of Texas at San Antonio and the AT&T Collection of 20th Century American Art.

MARGARET CRAIG, PRINTMAKING DEPARTMENT CHAIR received an MFA in Printmaking from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She also holds a BS in Biology, BS in Art and an MA with an emphasis in watercolor painting from the University of Wisconsin.  A leader in non-toxic printmaking technology, she has demonstrated at national conferences. Craig was selected to represent the U.S. in China as part of the Sanbao International Printmaking project.

JENNIFER DATCHUK graduated from the University of Massachusetts–Dartmouth with an MFA in Artisanry.  While in school she studied abroad at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana, West Africa and at the Sanbao Ceramic Institute in Jingdezhen, China. 

RIC DENTINGER, watercolorist, is a contemporary realist who paints traditional subjects. He learned to draw and paint at an early age and is primarily self-taught. Dentinger’s career began as a professional illustrator and art director. He has exhibited in many states throughout the US. Dentinger has been the recipient of many national awards and featured on the cover of Watercolor Artist Magazine.

TODD FICHTER earned his BFA in photography from Southwest Missouri State University. Fichter is a full-time graphic designer.  He and his wife Kellie are the primary creative force behind Fishead Design Studio & Microgallery.

MIKE FISHER received his Master of Communication Arts degree from the University of the Incarnate Word and his BA degree at the University of South Carolina. Goofa Man Productions is Fisher’s one-man cartooning, illustration and animation studio; and he has been a cartoonist for the former Starlog magazine, as well as Animation Magazine, Modeler's Resource and other publications.  His independent animation work on shorts like Alpha Worm and Invisible Master, among others, have won several awards at film festivals across the country. 

CASEY GALLOWAY, INTERIM FIBERS PROGRAM COORDINATOR received a BFA in Fibers from the University of North Texas in Denton. A 2007 Kuhlman Foundation scholarship allowed her to travel and research Scandinavian weaving. She is an installation artist as well as a traditional weaver.

NICOLE GEARY earned an MFA in printmaking from the University of South Dakota and a BFA in printmaking from the University of Florida. She has exhibited in juried shows nationally including the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Spudnik Press Cooperative, and Washington Printmaker’s Gallery. Her prints are included in several collections, both national and international.
JOE HARJO, PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO MANAGER received his MFA from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a BFA from the University of Central Oklahoma. He exhibits regionally and is in many private collections.

DEBORAH HARRISON has been weaving since 1986 and continues to explore new styles and techniques of weaving. She weaves mostly Swedish Ripsmatta or warp-faced rep rugs but enjoys the occasional diversion of triaxial weaving. Her work has been exhibited nationally and examples of her work have been published in Weavers, the Best of Weaver’s series, and Handwoven. She teaches throughout Texas.

MEGAN HARRISON earned her MFA in painting and drawing from the University of Texas at San Antonio and her BFA from Metropolitan State University of Denver. She grew up on the Front Range of Colorado where the Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains meet. The experience of growing up in a place where the massive and the expansive lay in dramatic contrast to one another has shaped her aesthetics and art making process.  Megan has received a number of awards and exhibition opportunities, most notably exhibiting work in the San Antonio Draws Exhibition at the McNay Museum of Art.

NINA “SAM” HIBLER holds a BS from Stephen F. Austin State University. She was introduced to flame working when creating glass laboratories tools. Her background in science adds a wealth of knowledge to the nuances of glass art.  Hibler is owner of Dream Fire Glass and specializes in the creation of one-of-a kind beads.

MIRA HNATYSHYN received an MFA at the University of Texas at San Antonio and a BS at the University of Maryland. She has exhibited her work locally and nationally. Hnatyshyn’s work appears in New American Paintings, No. 96 West Issue and her work is included in the Saatchi collection in London and other private collections.

GREGORY ALAN JOHNSON, FACULTY & STUDIO MANAGER received his MFA in Printmaking and Drawing at Texas Tech University and his BFA with a concentration in Printmaking at Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi. He also studied art at San Jacinto Junior College before earning a degree in business at Southwest Texas State University.

LISA KERPOE is a full-time studio artist and facilitator. She creates paintings on cloth, incorporating water-based media and mixed-media techniques. Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States and internationally. Kerpoe authored two books on surface design techniques, Visual Texture on Fabric (release spring 2012) and Vibrant Color (with Jane Dunnewold).

DIANA KERSEY received her MFA in Ceramics from Washington State University and her BFA from Texas Tech University.  She currently owns and operates Kersey Architectural Ceramics, which specializes in custom architectural ceramics, reproductions and unique ceramic ware. Kersey received the SSA 2010 Award for Teaching.

GREG KINNEY, a successful advertising and fine art photographer for over thirty years, recently retired from his commercial business and now devotes his creative energies to ceramic sculpture, often incorporating digital imagery onto his pieces.

JULIA BARBOSA LANDOIS holds a MFA in New Media and Sculpture from the University of Pennsylvania and a BFA from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She is an interdisciplinary artist and educator; she has been an Artpace Master Artist working with Fox Tech High School and is the SSA’s Teen Studio Intensive Program Coordinator.

ELÉONORE LEE is a printmaker and book artist. She began her studies in the UK prior to attending the Art Institute of Chicago on exchange, where she first discovered her love for books and print. After training at the Tamarind Institute, she went to the University of Iowa to pursue an MFA and a Book Arts Certificate. 

JEANNETTE MACDOUGALL is a studio artist and arts consultant.  She has worked as an art educator for over 20 years for the San Antonio Art Institute, San Antonio Children’s Museum and SSA.  MacDougall is a former Resident Director at Moulin a Nef, an arts residency program in Auvillar, France.

LISA NIGRO holds an MFA in Sculpture from the University of Texas at Austin and a BFA in Painting from University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Nigro is an interdisciplinary, multi-media artist working in painting, sculpture, and interactive installation art. She is Adjunct Professor at Houston Community College and teaches in SSA’s Mobile Arts Program.

ELIN NOBLE is the author of Dyes & Paints, winner of a best “How-To Book” award and was a former Lab Manager at PRO Chemical & Dye where she worked with all classes of dyes.  She has appeared on PBS, lectured, and conducted workshops across North America and internationally, and was nominated for teacher of the year award by Professional Quilter Magazine. She won the Quilt Japan Prize at Quilt National 2013 and received an Artists Fellowship Finalist award from the Massachusetts Cultural Council in 2011.

SUSAN OAKS is a recognized artist in basketry, as well as a long-time artist-teacher in SSA’s Young Artist Programs. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Texas at Austin. She has an all level certification in Art Education. Oaks’ work has been shown nationally.

SARAH PAGONA received her BA from Trinity University with an emphasis in Photography. She is currently a working artist and an art teacher at Ronald Reagan High School in San Antonio.

VICTOR PAGONA, PHOTOGRAPHY DEPARTMENT CHAIR earned his MFA in Photography and Sculpture at the University of South Carolina and his MA in Art History at the University of Wisconsin. His most recent body of work was created using a combination of digital and silver-based media along with other materials.

JILLIAN PALONE, FACULTY & METALS STUDIO MANAGER earned her MFA from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville and received her BFA in Jewelry Design and Metals from Pittsburg State University. She allows a variety of materials such as metal, resin, paper-clay, wood, rubber and paints to inform her creative process. 

MIKE PECEN, ASLA, is a landscape architect, designing and planning campuses, neighborhoods, public spaces and residential landscapes with Dixie Watkins III & Associates. He earned a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and is accredited in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

CHRISTOPHER RABB holds an MFA from the University of Dallas and a BFA from North Texas State University. He has held a Teaching Artist in Residence through the Alaska State Council on the Arts. Rabb teaches in the SSA’s Mobile Art Program.

SARAH ROBERTS received her MFA in Jewelry Design and Metalsmithing from Texas Tech University with a secondary emphasis in digital photography.  Her work explores the relationship between art and the human form through the creation of sculpture, photography and video and has been selected for many national exhibitions. She was a former Metals Department Artist-in-Resident and co-director of Clamp Light Artist Studios and Gallery.

ALEX RUBIO is currently the Mosaic Studio Manager for the Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum. As an arts organizer, he has instructed and coordinated community-based art programs including, Guadalupe Cultural Arts Organization, and San Anto Cultural Arts Organization. As a studio artist, Rubio continues to illustrate and describe past and present life in San Antonio, documenting both cultural and personal experiences in his drawings and paintings. 

KIMBERLY RUMFELT received her MFA in Studio Art from East Carolina University where she was an Instructor of Record, Studio Technician, and a Teaching Assistant of Design; she received her BFA from Texas Tech University.  In 2008 she was a Studio Assistant at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts in Maine. 

RAMIN SAMANDARI has been a fine art photographer for the past 20 years.  He has owned and operated his studio, Magical Realism, since 1998. His work has been in numerous solo and group exhibitions and is in the permanent collection of San Antonio Museum of Art and University of Texas at San Antonio.

REGINA SANDERS, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, YOUNG ARTIST PROGRAMS, holds Associate Degrees in Fine Arts and Illustration/Fashion from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.  She is a former fine arts instructor at a magnet school in Houston and coordinates the SSA SMD program.

CHRIS SAUTER earned an MFA from the University of Texas at San Antonio and his BA from the University of the Incarnate Word.  He was a 1999 Artpace Artist-in-Resident, and has exhibited both nationally and internationally. Sauter received the SSA 2011 Award for Teaching.

GARY SCHOTT, METALS DEPARTMENT CHAIR received his MFA in Metal/Jewelry Design from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a BFA from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Schott’s work explores human interaction through both sculptural mechanical forms and interactive wearable jewelry. His work is included in Humor in Craft by Brigitte Martin.

DENNIS SMITH, CERAMICS DEPARTMENT CHAIR received an MFA in Ceramics from the University of Montana and a BFA in Ceramics from the Kansas City Art Institute with postgraduate work at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts.  He has exhibited his work in both national and international exhibitions.  Smith's work has been featured in Ceramics Monthly, Ceramics: Arts and Perception, and Clay Times.

MELANIE LONG STRYBOS received a BS from Texas Christian University.  She freelances as a decorative painter, surface designer and mosaicist, and worked on the restoration of the Empire Theater.  Strybos is a member of the Society of American Mosaic Artists.

RYAN TAKABA, FACULTY & CERAMIC STUDIO MANAGER holds an MFA in ceramics from Kent State University and a BFA from University of Hawaii.  He previously was the Artist-in-Residence/Studio Manager for the University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth.  Takaba has also taught Kent State University and Northwest Vista College.

JESSICA TOLBERT received her MFA in Metal from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she recently finished a visiting instructor position, and her BFA in Metal/Jewelry from Texas State University.  She is a maker and educator and will be the Metals Department 2014-2015  Artist-in-Resident.

VINCENT VALDEZ, DRAWING & PAINTING DEPARTMENT CHAIR received his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design.  He has exhibited his work at The Parsons School of Design in Paris, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Museum, The Seattle Museum of Art and the Mexican Museum in Chicago and has had solo exhibitions at the Southwest School of Art, McNay Art Museum, San Antonio Museum of Art and the Museo Alameda.

LARRY WEST owns and operates Dragonfire Hot Glass Studio.  West has a BA in Art Education from Kent State University and has studied at the Pilchuck Glass School.  He is an art teacher for the Northside Independent School District.

JEFFREY WHEELER holds a MFA in Drawing & Painting from Central Washington University and a BFA in Design Communications from Texas Tech University. He is currently in residence at the Charles Adams Studio Projects in Lubbock, TX.  Known for his surreal and often humorous take on life on the South Plains which manifests itself in hundreds of drawings, paintings, collages, and ceramics, Wheeler’s work has been featured in exhibitions all around the world.  He is co-founder (with his brother Bryan) and producer of the Texas Art exhibition Ulterior Motifs, which has featured the work of some of Texas’ most celebrated contemporary artists. 

BECK WHITEHEAD, PAPER & BOOK ARTS DEPARTMENT CHAIR received an MFA from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a BA from Trinity University.  Whitehead has taught papermaking workshops at Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts, Pyramid Atlantic, Haystack, and at national conferences.

LYN WOODS received a certificate in ceramics from the Southwest School of Art in 2007.  She also has studied ceramics at Anderson Ranch.  Woods has previously taught ceramic classes for The Firehouse in Del Rio, Texas.